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Three Strangers (1946)

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Reviews: 30 user | 13 critic

Three strangers, each with a serious problem in their lives, share a sweepstakes ticket which they wished upon together before a Chinese idol.



(original screenplay), (original screenplay)
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Title: Three Strangers (1946)

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Complete credited cast:
Jerome K. Arbutny
Crystal Shackleford
Johnny West
Joan Lorring ...
Icey Crane
Robert Shayne ...
Bertram Fallon
Marjorie Riordan ...
Janet Elliott
Arthur Shields ...
Rosalind Ivan ...
Lady Rhea Belladon
John Alvin ...
Junior Clerk
Peter Whitney ...
Timothy Delaney aka Gabby
David Shackleford
Clifford Brooke ...
Senior Clerk
Doris Lloyd ...
Mrs. Proctor


According to a legend, if three strangers gather before an idol of Kwan Yin (the Chinese goddess of fortune and destiny) on the night of the Chinese New Year and make a common wish, Kwan Yin will open her eyes and her heart and grant the wish. In London 1938 on the Chinese New Year, Crystal Shackleford has such an idol and decides to put the legend to the test. She picks two random strangers off the street, and puts the proposition to them. They decide that an ideal wish would be for a sweepstakes ticket they buy equal shares in to be a winner. After all, everyone needs money and a pot is very easy to divide equally, right? Written by Ken Yousten <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


BREATHTAKING SUSPENSE - THRILLS! (original ad - all caps)


Crime | Drama | Thriller


Approved | See all certifications »




Release Date:

28 January 1946 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Three Strangers  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Alfred Hitchcock showed early interest in directing. See more »


Johnny West: You do not believe in miracles, I see.
Jerome K. Arbutny: Hardly.
Johnny West: Ah, pardon me, sir, but then, ah, what do you believe in?
Jerome K. Arbutny: Who me? I believe in what I can see... what I can get my hands on.
Johnny West: And I believe that those things are not at all real. Who are we to say, uh, tha the legend of Kwan Yin is any less real than the iron you just tapped with your ring?
See more »


Waltz in A Flat Major, Op. 39
Music by Johannes Brahms
Played on the piano by Johnny
See more »

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User Reviews

Quality movie.
16 October 2007 | by (Groningen, The Netherlands) – See all my reviews

This is one fine made movie. It has a greatly written script and a top-notch cast. It sounds like a cliché of course but it's a real shame that movies like these aren't being made and written anymore. At least not on such a commercially large scale and with such fine big name actors in it. Movies like this aren't made anymore simply because movies like this don't really sell, unless they are being made exceptionally good. It's not really a film-noir, although the movie certainly shows similarities to the atmosphere and the story also shows noir tendencies. The movie in the end is perhaps a bit too 'light' to consider it a real film-noir, also because it features quite an amount of subtle black comedy. The story is solidly constructed and focuses on three different characters and plot-lines that of course are all still connected to each other. The fine script was written by Hollywood legend John Huston. It features lots of deeper themes such as greed and jealousy. You really start to care about the characters and their problems. Something that isn't too common for a '40's genre movie. It's not always an easy movie to watch and follow so make sure you watch this movie with a clear head. The dialog might be a bit overlong by todays standards but its so fine written and delivered by the actors that you tend to look past this. The movie gets really carried by the three main characters, that equally share the screen time. I was especially impressed by Sydney Greenstreet, which also might due to the fact that he had the best- or at least most credible plot line. Peter Lorre also played a great role and gave a fine performance. Geraldine Fitzgerald was definitely the least of the three actors and she tended to overact a bit in some of the dramatic sequences. But overall her role was also really a solid one and it says something about the quality of the acting from Lorre and Greenstreet to say that Fitzgerald gave the lesser performance of the movie. Alan Napier also plays a small role. Oh man, it really seems to be that this guy is in about every 'old' movie that I watch lately. Napier received his most fame for playing the butler Alfred in the Adam West "Batman" series from the '60's. The editing of the movie was also surprisingly good and fast. Instead of long single camera sequences, the movie cuts back and forth between different camera positions in the same sequence rapidly. It gives the story speed and helps to keep you interest even during the more slow and dull moments of the movie. The fine little musical score was from acclaimed composer Adolph Deutsch, whose music suited this movie and its atmosphere really well. It's a fine good old fashioned quality movie, made with limited resources but with fine experts involved. 8/10

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